Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Women in Workplace

I am still jobless in my job as I wait for a new project. I am supposed to be making use of this time to study. I do that to about 50% I suppose.

So I have been up to other things like taking off, reading the Millennium series of books (which I really liked BTW for the characterization of the heroine), attending training sessions and some random meetings.

Today I got the opportunity to attend a meeting on inclusivity of women in workplace. It was a discussion where a person from an external organization was recording our inputs. Hopefully the organization will leverage these inputs to create a more women friendly workplace.

This meeting was an eye opener of sorts for me. I knew women had it a little difficult in career. They have these innate breaks – marriage change/break, kids and all that. And they have to certainly take the bigger load at home and work-life balance is important for women. I hope there comes a day when men will realize the importance of time spent with family and when work-life balance will not be a women only issue.

As such I find my organization very employee friendly and I like the work culture here. There is a saying that your job is only as good as the last manager. My last manager was very good. It’s sad that the project had to end. So I don’t know what I am headed for.

So coming back to the meeting, there was the initial introductions where I ran into my first shocker. One person introduced himself and said among other things that he doesn’t have to worry about work-life balance because his wife is a stay at home mom. I mean seriously…. What about your duty as a father to your kids? We need to be good at time management and strike a good deal when it comes to work-life balance. How could you not bother about it?

But I won’t generalize men like that. For that matter I hate slotting/categorizations of any kind. There are all kinds of people who may not fit to definitions. For people are not words in a science dictionary. There was this other person who spoke about post maternity support for women. A guy speaking about a facility where women can pump milk, now that’s real nice. I used to pump milk in the rest room till Sanjay was 1 year old.

One Hr lady said that some Project Managers request that they do not want women while hiring for positions. Some others said that they do not hire women who are about to get married or are pregnant. Apparently they are too much of a risk for the investment made on them.  What about men who shift for better prospects? It is a known fact that at least where I am located, women are a stable resource; they simply do not jump as many jobs as men. But well, looks like some prejudices do exist.

It is a little depressing that the next time I attend an interview, they will judge me for more than my answers and this happens everywhere probably.

I think the answer is when men take equal responsibility of the house, that’s when there will be equality at work. That’s when everyone will look for work-life balance. I see this happening more in the west, in the developed nations. Again I can’t generalize for I am speaking from my interactions with a limited set of people.

There was talk of mentoring women. And then one person said that women are of three types: career oriented, working for the heck of it, working for money. It saddened me to hear this categorization. I work because of the sense of self that it makes me feel. I feel like I am doing something with my intellect, learning something, growing in my own way. Does that make me career oriented? No, because given a choice between a fantabulous job that forces me to work in some other country’s timing and a job with little less prospects where I can keep decent timing, I would choose the latter. For me, family is first, while I will always do complete justice to my job. I won’t work from home if I want to babysit my son, I will take off, because that is the more responsible thing to do. I take my work seriously, but I am not career oriented, neither do I work for money. I work because of the way it makes me feel about myself. As simple as that. I told him outright that I feel offended when someone slots women like this.

I am no feminist. I don’t understand what feminism is all about. I only believe in one thing – equality of all humans. Which is why I won’t treat my house help any different, or believe in caste or such things. Which is why I can never understand how some people feel superior to others. Which is why I will value my four year old son’s opinions and thoughts, or any child’s for that matter.

It was an eye-opening experience for me. Also it reinforced my belief that nothing ever goes waste. In the meeting, one Project manager said there was an opening in his team. I was all gung-ho till I found out that I have to work in UK timing, which won’t work for me. So I am back to square one. It does get a little frustrating when I get serious. But otherwise I am liking this free time. Only I must must make better use of it!


Jeevan said...

I agree with you and I’m sure the men women take responsible at balance the equality will come automatically.
Hope u make it worthwhile enjoying the free time.

monu said...

not at all making use. It's all facebook and fashion blogs :)